ESSEX have signed former South Africa stalwart Dean Elgar on a three-year deal.

Elgar, 36, ended his international career earlier this month after 86 Tests and over 5,000 runs.

The left-handed opener was a County Championship winner with Surrey in 2018 and has also represented Somerset.

He will now fill a considerable void for Essex, who saw former England captain Sir Alastair Cook retire in 2023.

“I’m thrilled to embark on this new chapter of my cricketing journey with Essex,” said Elgar.

“The club have been pushing for honours in recent years and I’m eager to contribute to further success. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my previous experiences in county cricket and I’m really looking forward to joining up with the squad ahead of the season.”

Essex head coach Anthony McGrath was pleased to lock in a player of Elgar’s pedigree on a long-term contract.

McGrath said: “He has had an outstanding career in Test cricket and has demonstrated to the world his desire to score runs at the highest level, right up until he retired.

“His achievements in the international arena speak volumes about his capabilities and we are excited to witness his impact at Essex.”